Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sierra Mountain Cabin Visit

I have been living at sea level for four years.  Well maybe a few feet up, because we live on a granite cliff, not a beach...but still not too high up.
*Note to Grandma Beth: Click the photos to enlarge them, then use your back arrow to return to the blog.

This last week a lovely woman kidnapped me and took me to the mountains for a few September days.  I have beautiful pictures, or perhaps I should say I took pictures of beautiful places.  My photos are but a faint reminder of the beauty in it's fullness, but come along and I'll share what I can.  Here's the area where we headed...a cabin in Courtright Village near the southern tip of this map. This picture I took of the sign at the Le Conte Divide...but I better not get ahead of myself.

Leaving the Monterey Peninsula , the central coast of California, we crossed through the hills that lie between  coast highway 1 and the inland 101 and then headed east through the mission town of San Juan Bautista past the golden grasses, brown soil and green crops of  California's central valley.  The Pacific Ocean now behind us, the air grew hot and hazy.   In the air conditioned car I had a sack of  raw almonds to munch and cold  bottled water.   We passed almond and  fig tree groves and dusty vineyards, as well as many field crops and always there were people, working in the fields. 

 I was delighted in catching up with my friend ( I just found out she linked to this blog, so I've added a link to her blog at the end...no longer anon she is Gretchen) and watched mile by mile the environs change.  At the town of Madera where you can access highway 41 to Yosemite we turned to Highway 168.

This neighborhood of  redwoods, sunflowers, and grasses is in downtown Shaver Lake in the Sierra National Forest, elevation 5500 ft. It's the town of last supplies.
We already had everything, and then some, that we needed for our four nights, 
so we didn't stop in town.
                  We kept heading up the tree lined  roads ...

past little roadside rocks...

     ~And stopped to look back toward the valley from whence we'd come~

      One day we checked out Dinky Creek. I am not kidding, that is its name.

  " Bark," I have read, is not a technical term.

                                ~ what small part of this tree I pictured ~

The foot of a large tree in the McKinley Grove where the biggest Giant Sequoia currently measures  20.3 feet in diameter.

   As we made our way up the road the moon rose in the sky.

 ~young trees on the edge of the road scramble down roots for a spot~

 A wonderful tree that made me read trees books in the night.   While I do know the basic distinctions...
some of the trees I met reminded me that is all I know.

      I did remember that the cones of a true Fir Tree are always upright.

Rocks of immense dimensions roll and slide and slam their way to where they come to rest, the angle of repose.  So many of the rocks on the uphill side of the road demonstrate this law of physics, but other laws could as easily be on display if given variables change.
 Angle of Repose   is the title of a Wallace Stegner novel that takes place in California terrain.  The term lends itself  to much metaphor.

After considering many possibilities

              We decided that the species of small coned pines are Lodgepole.

      This is the southern end of Courtright Reservoir but we aren't quite yet where we are going. I took this picture the second or third day of our visit...that first afternoon we had to keep moving but already snatches of  the American poet Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha", which he wrote in 1855's and that I memorized in part in 7th grade, had been triggered in my memory:     
                                      Dark behind it rose the forest,
                                      Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
                                      Rose the firs with cones upon them;
                                      Bright before it beat the water,
                                      Beat the clear and sunny water,

During our visit we had clear sunny days and

beautiful clouds too.
This is subalpine country...we were at about 8200 feet  elevation.

         Just before nightfall we got to the cabin...we turned on the water, started warming up things up and made our beds.  No fancy cooking the first night. We didn't exactly have to rough it....this is my room as I left it the last morning.

       The first morning in Courtright this is the view I woke to and what one can see from the deck.
                                                          It's a real fine place to be.

                Of course as soon as I got home to the cool coast
I had to take a picture of  the last light of that day on the sweet blue sea. It too, is a real fine place to be.

I took lots more pictures in the mountains...153 to be exact...but I'm not going to show you all of them. But just imagine... rocks and trees and water and sky and trees and rocks ....there's lots of them "up there"and I am glad for that, and glad for a friend that shared her family's special place with me.

Gretchen took pictures too and here's one I took of her.



Marfa said...

It's just beautiful. Did you say almond tree groves? Mmmm. I wish I could've come...


Jeannette ~ you are an amazing photographer and live in a beautiful part of our great country. A winning combination!


Rosannah said...

you take such good pictures! i know it's hard to capture the scale of where you are and i think you do a great job! love you!! RR

Linda said...

Your photos are stunning Jeannette...and what an amazing holiday you had. You are so lucky....

Linda said...

PS Re: your comment - I haven't seen the bottom of my basket for years!!! Never seem to get that far :-)

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

So beautiful! Our family visited there a little over a year ago. Looking at your pictures makes me miss the beauty.

Carol............. said...

All the photos are lovely.....but I was especially drawn to the first one of the water and boulders. What a great watercolor that would make.